(All Years) Intermittent soft brake pedal - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Intermittent soft brake pedal

Here's the scoop. Recently did front and rear brakes - replaced rotors and pads. I used the Motive pressure bleeder and flushed 1.5L through the brake lines. I have a soft brake pedal most of the time, but sometimes like today I get in the car and the pedal was firm for a while before going soft again. Pedal always comes up solid on second pump.Do I still have air in the lines? any other thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 09:36 PM
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Do the old school 2 person bleed on all 4 wheels in the correct order, sounds like an air issue.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 09:40 PM
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might wanna try steel lines,i read it alleviates the issue.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 07:59 AM
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Air in the line...

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Originally Posted by pigboat_2 View Post
Do the old school 2 person bleed on all 4 wheels in the correct order, sounds like an air issue.
+1 on the two man bleed. You probably have some air in the lines.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 02:20 PM
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Are you leaking any brake fluid, check your bleeder screws, one might be slightly loose.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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I checked all the lines and bleeder screws with no leaks. Im going to try the 2 man bleed. It just confuses me that compressable air bubbles could be there sometimes but not others.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 10:42 AM
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If you have no leaks and the flexible lines are not perished and hence expanding when the brakes are pressed then other possibilities could be worn rubber seals in the master cylinder or abs manifold but unlikely unless its an old car . So that leaves air in the system. Air can get trapped in the calipers even after bleeding . Clamp off each caliper in turn at the flexible hose and see if the peddle firms up . If it does that is where the trouble is .
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchughsk View Post
Here's the scoop. Recently did front and rear brakes - replaced rotors and pads. I used the Motive pressure bleeder and flushed 1.5L through the brake lines. I have a soft brake pedal most of the time, but sometimes like today I get in the car and the pedal was firm for a while before going soft again. Pedal always comes up solid on second pump.Do I still have air in the lines? any other thoughts?

FWIW, I was told by the stealership that this condition is "normal" for 2009+ Foresters. Mine was soft (we're talking brakes here...) from day one. I drove several other new and used Foresters because I didn't believe the dealership. All were pretty soft. Bleeding twice and changing out the fluid didn't help.

To me, it feels like a master cylinder problem. At stoplights, with moderate pressure, the pedal just goes lower and lower. A release/pump brings the pedal back up. I have never had a real problem with stopping or panic stops. The condition has neither improved or gotten worse over the last 3 years. I think it is just a design problem.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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I tried the two man bleed and it didn't help any. I'm going to try and use the suggestion of clamping the lines to find the caliper that might have air. will
this damage the brake lines?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 04:16 PM
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AFAIK, yes, you will damage the lines. They look like rubber, but it's not like a vacuum hose or heater or fuel hose. It has a steel core. I wouldn't do it.

If your pedal is soft on first press and always comes up firmer with subsequent press(es) it would point to a worn-out master cylinder.

That being said, I have never felt brakes were Subaru's strong point. Every time I get in almost any other car it takes a little to get used to not putting on the brakes too hard.

A master cylinder brace is on my list of things to try out when I get the time. IMHO this stands a better chance of making a difference than the braided stainless lines. Sure, they look better but I wonder about the specs of the internal core (that actually holds the pressure) versus standard "rubber" ones. And, they don't make kits for disc-front & drum-rear so I would be looking at custom lines.

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